Folia Parasitologica 56 199-230 (2009) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2009.025
Terminology for microtriches, the surface features both unique to and ubiquitous among cestodes, is standardised based on discussions that occurred at the International Workshops on Cestode Systematics in Storrs, Connecticut, USA in 2002, in České Budějovice, Czech Republic in 2005 and in Smolenice, Slovakia in 2008. The following terms were endorsed for the components of individual microtriches: The distal, electron-dense portion is the cap, the proximal more electron-lucent region is the base. These two elements are separated from one another by the baseplate. The base is composed of, among other elements, microfilaments. The cap is composed of cap tubules. The electron-lucent central portion of the base is referred to as the core. The core may be surrounded by an electron-dense tunic. The entire microthrix is bounded by a plasma membrane, the external layer of which is referred to as the glycocalyx. Two distinct sizes of microtriches are recognised: those <= 200 nm in basal width, termed filitriches, and those >200 nm in basal width, termed spinitriches. Filitriches are considered to occur in three lengths: papilliform (<= 2 times as long as wide), acicular (2-6 times as long as wide), and capilliform (>6 times as long as wide). In instances in which filitriches appear to be doubled at their base, the modifier duplicated is used. Spinitriches are much more variable in form. At present a total of 25 spinithrix shapes are recognised. These consist of 13 in which the width greatly exceeds the thickness (i.e., bifid, bifurcate, cordate, gladiate, hamulate, lanceolate, lineate, lingulate, palmate, pectinate, spathulate, trifid, and trifurcate), and 12 in which width and thickness are approximately equal (i.e., chelate, clavate, columnar, coniform, costate, cyrillionate, hastate, rostrate, scolopate, stellate, trullate, and uncinate). Spiniform microtriches can bear marginal (serrate) and/or dorsoventral (gongylate) elaborations; they can also bear apical features (aristate). The latter two modifiers should be used only if the features are present. The terminology to describe the overall form of a spinithrix should be used in the following order: tip, margins, shape. Each type of microthrix variation is defined and illustrated with one or more scanning electron micrographs. An indication of the taxa in which each of the microthrix forms is found is also provided.
Received: April 22, 2009; Accepted: June 16, 2009; Published: September 1, 2009